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Silver Dental Filling Materials contain up to 50% MERCURY !
Mercury is one of the most toxic minerals known to humankind.
Helene wrote… ( Hey Char, the dental gold I used was 22kt, I
don’t know about the silver.)

Fill your teeth with the Gold or other new Nontoxic materials
and please do stay away from silver mercury amalgams. Silver
mercury fillings may be quick and easy and very profitable for
the dentist, but not profitable to your health. Good luck RnL

Dear RnL:

speaking as a person who’s been blessed with bad teeth and has
had a mouthfull of silver fillings for almost 30 years, I have to
say that your advice is a bit alarmist. The ADA had done
extensive research on this subject and determined that the use of
trace amounts NOT 50%) of mercury poses no health risks. I know
it has not in my case.

Steve Klepinger

Wow, RnL… that’s fascinating and frightening. What does
that mean for the likes of us who have had mouthfulls of the
stuff since childhood, and still have some… wherever gold never
replaced it? Do you know? Ryr

I have to disagree, it is not alarmist. The ADA may have come
to the conclusion that it is safe, but that’s not the only
source out there.

I know someone who had all amalgam fillings removed and
replaced. You can have yourself tested to see the quantity of
mercury vapors being released into your body. What’s the effect
of all that mercury in the body?

It’s funny, we would never use mercury at the bench or play with
a broken thermometer, but we’ll let somebody stick it in our
mouths and leave it there forever.


Well Steve, my brother who is 26 years old was diagnosed as
having toxic levels of mercury last year. He is the image of
perfect health - other than a few screws loose in his brain (
must be that mercury). He is a health buff and has had no
opportunity to absorb mercury-- except for the 20 or so amalgam
fillings that have now been replaced with porcelain ( yes, like
most of us he has some weakness and his is sugar). He also went
for 10 treatments of chealation (sp?) therapy. If you still don’t
see any danger of absorbtion ( or you still trust the ADA) then
try putting a metal spoon in your mouth and see if you can taste
the metal- that should tell one something.

With due respect, Peter Slone

I’m happy that someone other than myself commented of the use of
amalgam fillings that were used extensively, and ,indeed are
still used for many restorations in the repairing of carious
teeth. Some time ago, a group of dentists urged the removal of
amalgam fillings, claiming that the mercury locked in the
fillings was slowly leaching out and causing mercury poisoning.
This has been studied extensively, and disproved on a scientific
basis by many separate investigations. A greater release of
mercury does occur by the grinding out of old amalgam fillings
in a mouth containing many fillings than could ever occur by the
so called leaching out of Hg. from old silver fillings!

A very well made Gold restoration is still the best dental
repair, but they are quite expensive, and more teeth have been
saved by repairing with silver amalgam than any other material
used. “A silver amalgam filling is better than any poorly made
gold restoration”, and too often,many gold restorations are not
as perfect as they should be. My two cents. Dr.

Hi Steve,

While the ADA is right concerning the intended use of silver
amalgam. There is no danger to the patient, but there is a
slight risk to the dentist. The problem arises when you melt
the amalgam. The mercury vaporizes and breathing the vapors
will get you in trouble.

Unfortunately, very early in my apprenticeship, when I was
learning to do model work, I had to mix the mercury and amalgam
by hand in a mortar and pestal. I would then put the mercury
loaded wad of amalgam into a cloth and twist the towel to
tighten it around the amalgam. The excess mercury would appear
on the outside of the towel and would be collected in the
mortar. We would then pack the teeth adjacent to the tooth to
be made with the amalgam. Fortunately I only did it about half
a dozen times before I was promoted to the gold dept. full time.
I think that these dentists requiring this type of work were
contemporaries of Doc Holliday of O.K. Corral fame.:o) Maybe
Dr. Dule can tell us about when the plaster impression technique
was abandoned.

Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071

Hello All I know is that Mercury is TOXIC ! PERIOD. We all know
it, or are learning to know it. The ADA and government do not
want to cause mass law suits so they say mercury is OK to be in
fillings. Their study on mercury and long term health
implications barely lasted one year… Please… They study an
eyeshade color on monkeys for longer than that.

Many Dentists are slowly fazing it out of their practice,
especially with children needing fillings. No amount is truly
safe. It’s kind of like the Lead issue. The “safe” Lead amounts
allowed are getting lower and lower, because they know that no
amount is safe Can you imagine if the ADA and Government admitted
that they knew that for the past 50 plus years that they
knowingly allowed mercury to be pounded into your teeth and that
it can cause health problems. The tobacco companies would look
like Saints in Comparison. It seems that this country is bent on
the idea that unless something makes you deathly ill or actually
kills you, then it must be OK. We are all learning that lead is
not safe in any amount, just like we are learning that
cigarettes are not safe in any amount. I believe ( Dr. Hal
Huggins ) has a web site discussing Mercury filling etc… I
personally often wonder what my life and the lives of millions
of others would be like health wise, if we did have mercury in
our mouths. Just as I am sure some parents wonder how much
further their child’s potentials would have been, if they had
not been exposed to varying amounts of Lead from whatever
sources and there are many… Incidentally, I have 14 silver /
Mercury amalgams. Search the web, be informed, now lets get back

Close, Steve. But silver amalgam fillings do, indeed, have
quite a bit more than a trace of mercury. Not sure the exact
proportions, but 50% is closer than “trace”. However, and this
is the important point, just as there is not a problem with
copper toxicity in gold alloys containing copper, in a silver
amalgam, the mercury is in a stable solid solution form, and not
available to the body as a toxic heavy metal. The jury isn’t
completely sure on all levels just how safe silver fillings are,
but you are right that extensive research has not shown them to
be dangerous, despite what gut level suspicions might lead a
prudent person to assume. My own dentist suggests that it’s not
needed to replace the silver fillings already in, but especially
given the fact that current technologies allow fillings in
various composite materials that both look better, cost no more,
and don’t have mercury are available, he doesn’t put in silver
amalgam fillings any more.

However, the important point to this is that there is, indeed, a
considerable amount of mercury bound up in that amalgam, and if
you worry about it as metal for jewelers, instead of it’s safety
as a dental filling, the answer is quite different. Heating that
amalgam, such as trying to melt it, etc, will drive off the
mercury leaving pure silver. The driven off mercury could be
recovered if you did this in a closed system, and ran the fumes
through a proper condenser. People using mercury to recover gold
from gold ores do exactly that. But generally, outside of a lab,
the completeness with which you recover the mercury is poor, and
the remainder ends up as mercury vapors in the air waiting to
condense out on whatever is handy, like the insides of your
lungs. And THAT is most definately NOT safe or desireable.

So don’t worry too much about the silver fillings in your mouth.
But if you’ve come across a bunch of silver/mercury amalgam,
don’t attempt to use it for anything unless you are properly
trained in the laboratory techniques of handling such toxic fumes
and materials. Take that silver amalgam, package it seperately
from the rest of your silver scrap, and when you send it to your
refiner, be sure they know it’s identity, as they too may wish
to process it differently from their regular refining lots.

Peter Rowe

 He also went for 10 treatments of chealation (sp?) therapy. 

Just out of curiosity, was the diagnosis made by the “chelation
therapy” people? I assume you do know that chelation therapy is
generally regarded as just one more quack medicine scam.

As for searching the web for you can find just
about any nonsense you’re looking for on the web.



Silver amalgam oxidizes very rapidly in the oral environment,
and when it oxidizes it, in effect, seals the amalgam. The risk
to the patient is minimal, it is the dentist and his assistants
who have a far greater risk of encountering mercury toxicity.
The patient may get 1 or 2 fillings but the dental team may do
20 or 25 in a week.

One more thing, silver amalgam fillings are not thought of as
a final but rather an intermediate restoration. The idea is to
have the tooth ‘settle down’ concerning nerve trauma, and then a
permanent restoration (inlay, onlay, or full crown) will be
inserted at a later date.



Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071

Elaine, "It’s funny, we would never use mercury at the bench or
play with a broken thermometer, but we’ll let somebody stick it
in our mouths and leave it there forever. " The solution is such a
painful one I thing I’'ll take the chances of Merc. poisoning(Mad
Hatter syndrome). It wasn’t a choice for most of us who were
quite small in the 60s when they used the stuff.

No, the diagnosis was made by a chemist using a hair analysis
test- the same test which determines trace amounts of any
substance in the body. It was done after he was suffering from a
2 year prostate infection, and suffering from bad medical advice
and numerous treatments and therapies. A friend suggested he get
a hair analysis and that’s when they discovered the high levels
of mercury in the blood. The chelation therapy was done to remove
the mercury from his body- as far as I know ther is no other way
to rid the body of this evil substance.
Sincerely, Peter Slone

For the record, I have mercury fillings too! Gracious. We’re
all getting so uptight and defensive over our teeth and these
health issues. So much harder to work up a good argument on an
actual jewelry issue!



I must admit to being somewhat suprised when I read your latest
post on this thread. Is the idea of amalgam as a temporary fix a
new one? If so, why? I must have over a dozen of them that were
put in 20 years or so ago and still do very well. In fact by
current dentist just shakes his head when I come in for a

Steve Klepinger

Skip: The amalgam restorations may be “intermediate” in Rolls
Royce Dentistry, but in my Ford mouth there are at least
fourteen of these things that have been there for at least
thirty years. The original dentist mushroomed all the fillings
so you couldn’t floss between the teeth (and never told me about
floss either), but in 1974 a good dentist I met redid all of
them. I’ve been to at least three different dentists since
then, and at least two of them were very good practitioners (one
was my brother-in-law) and none of them ever suggested that my
silver fillings were in any way temporary.

That’s just how things are on my side of the tracks,

Last Sunday I broke a tooth & 1/2 of it fell out, so I’ve spent
three days this week at the dentist. My new filling is of “glass
particles” After polishing metal with rubber Shofu wheels &
sandpaper disks, imagine my surprise to find them in my mouth
finishing my new tooth! At least we know the glass tooth won’t
leak Mercury! Helene

Steve, An amalgam is not a temporary fix, it is an intermediate
restoration. When the dentist places a large amalgam in a tooth
he, by necessity for retentive purposes, must not have
parallel walls on the prepared tooth. He needs to undercut the
buccal (cheek side) and the lingual (tongue side) sides of the
tooth. Additionally when he prepares the chewing surface (and
the rest of the periphery of the preparation) he needs to
chamfer the preparation. This chamfer is in the enamel, the
most non-vital part of the tooth. The chamfer is like slicing a
salami not perpendicular but at a 45 degree angle so that you
can cover the actual filling with more amalgam. Why? Silver
amalgam has a thermal expansion and contraction rate that is not
the same as tooth structure and this added amalgam helps to
prevent the oral fluids from working their way between the
amalgam and the tooth structure. It is like the weathering of
rocks in nature.

I have some amalgams that were placed over 30 years ago. The
ones that failed, I replaced with gold onlays or porcelain fused
to gold crowns. Why do some amalgams last a long time while
others do not? There are more reasons than there are members in
Orchid. Among the reasons are daily oral care, genetics,
pregnancy, and on and on. I will tell you this though, just as
we had the thread on asthetics and quality of workmanship on
Orchid, there are both techs and dentists that I wouldn’t let
work on my dead Labrador retriever and price is not always the
criteria. Steve you obviously had good ones. A good rule of
thumb is if you have amalgams placed and in 2 or 3 years they
need to be removed and replaced because of recurring decay or
the amalgam broke, be wary. If this happens regularly find a
new dentist.



Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071


Until recently I did’nt realize you were a dental professional
as well. I greatly appreciate all your contributed
to this thread. As per my previous and present dentists, I have
to agree. My earlier dentist was a character but he obviously
knew his stuff and my current one is a no-nonsense, honest fellow
who also knows his way around a bicuspid. Believe me, after all
my time spent in the chair, I can tell. I know that eventually,
I’ll be in for several crowns(I already have 2) but I would
prefer this to dentures any day. Thanks again; Steve Klepinger


A dental professional as well as what? A jeweler?:o) Don’t I
wish! I have all of the creativity of an Omaha anvil designer!
I tinkered with jewelry on and off since the 3rd month of my
apprenticeship over 30 years ago. About 103 years ago the
jewelers were the dental techs I make jewelry because I love it
and I am disabled and can no longer run my lab. My hands only
’work’ sporadically and then only for a short time. I can do
noncritical work most days but my fine motor skills only work
sporadically and are not nearly as fine as they were just 5
years ago.

I don’t know how old you are but two of the little known
advantages of getting your teeth put in order when you are in
your late 40’s and early 50’s, are 1) You can usually more
easily afford to get it done at this time rather than when you
are on a fixed income, and 2) Poor oral health usually makes
proper nutrition difficult in your “Golden” years, and it also
is a breeding ground for multitudes of low grade infections that
can sap enough of your strength that in the event of a major
sickness, you body may not have enough strength to adequately
defeat it.

Warmest Regards,


Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071